New York

“Soutine and Modern Art”

Cheim & Read

“The New Landscape / The New Still Life: Soutine and Modern Art” was a strange exhibition, an unexpected testimonial to the influence of Jewish painter Chaim Soutine, one of the so-called peintres maudits. But who was testifying? And in what exactly did Soutine’s influence consist? The show was organized by Maurice Tuchman and Esti Dunow. Tuchman, senior curator emeritus of twentieth century art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has been a Soutine enthusiast and scholar since he curated a touring retrospective of the artist’s work in 1968, and recently deplored the Museum of Modern Art’s deaccessioning of the single Soutine painting it owned. Is the fact that MoMA appears far down on the curator’s list of lenders a form of subtle payback?

In his magisterial History of Modern Art (1968), H. H. Arnason writes that Soutine “is closer than any artist of the early twentieth century to

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